Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Another Classic Quiz

Who wrote these famous lines? Oh, to be in England/Now that April’s there/ And whoever wakes in England/Sees, some morning, unaware/ /That the lowest boughs and the brushwood sheaf/ Round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf/ While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough/ In England, Now!

And who wrote this ideal definition of a gentleman? Hence it is that it is almost a definition of a gentleman to say he is one who never inflicts pain.

As well as, who, pray tell, wrote these lines? I have often been asked how I first came to be a regular opium eater...

Not to ignore the writer of these immortal words: St. Agnes’ Eve—Ah, bitter chill it was!/ The owl for all his feathers, was a-cold/…Numb were the Beadsman’s fingers, while he told/ His rosary and while his frosted breath/ Like pious incense from a censer old/ Seemed taking flight for heaven, without a death/ Past the sweet Virgin’s picture, while his prayer he saith.

Good luck.


  1. The first verse was written by Robert Browning in "Home Thoughts from Abroad." Browning also wrote my favorite line of poetry: "A man's reach should always exceed his grasp, else what's there a Heaven for?"

    The definition of a gentleman was penned by Cardinal Newman, in "The Idea of a University," a series of lectures he gave.

    The opium-eater confession was written by Thomas de Quincey.

  2. Bill Pascoe was correct on the first three quotes. I'll finish up by identifying John Keats' "The Eve of St. Agnes". My daughter took Agnes as her confirmation name. Otherwise I might have forgotten that one from my college years.

  3. Tom-
    Are you aware that a blackguard could type your exact hints into Google, and come up with John Keats. Robt. Browning, Cardinal Newman, and Thomas de Quincey?

    I AM NOT ENTERING this quiz, as I didn't recognize a one until I tried my idea (which was too successful).

    You should admonish participants to act independently and honorably, or risk excommunication from your BLOG.

    Best regards,

    P.S My wife's name is Lillian. Mary is the wife of our youngest son. She is a lyrics junky, especially the old tunes.